Erik Paulsen regularly issues a video Correspondence Corner in which he responds to constituent questions.
It is a great ploy — Congressman Paulsen determines what question is to be answered … thus, providing him an opportunity to portray himself as effectively responding to issues that he wishes to address as if they are the most critical issues that voters want addressed.
The MN Political Roundtable will be evaluating Congressman Paulsen’s responses and encouraging readers to offer their own assessments.
Today’s topic: H.R. 502 – To permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
In his July 1st Correspondence Corner, Erik Paulsen answers a question from Christina in Eden Prairie about the need to renew funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund before it expires on September 30th
Congressman Paulsen explained the fund, how it benefits Minnesota, and assured her that it would be renewed in a bipartisan manner.
GREAT …right ?
Ethical Erik would never leave anything out would he ???
Remember this is Erik’s Correspondence Corner, which provides him an opportunity to portray himself as effectively responding to issues.
So a little more background than Congressman Paulsen provided.
According to federal law, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) does not use any taxpayer dollars — it is funded from revenues collected through offshore oil and gas royalty payments. However, these funds are subject to congressional appropriations. Some of the money collected by the fund is spent on LWCF projects, but some of it ultimately goes to other expenditures.
In 2017, the royalties were $958,811,210 … and how much did the House authorize for the LWCF ?
On September 26, 2017, after returning to Washington, D.C. from their August Recess, the members of the House of Representatives passed legislation to fund the government for Fiscal Year 2018, providing $275 million from the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Eventually, the House agreed with the Senate, providing $400 million.
Hmmm … collected $958 million and authorized only $400 million (which was a big increase from the House request of $275 million) … guess the Paulsen Tax Cuts had to be paid for somehow.
Now, to put this in perspective, in 2016, Congress provided $450 million.
Hmmm … even though there was royalties paid, the Republican-controlled Congress cut funding by $50 million … providing the fund with less than half the revenues it was due.
OK … that is history … what is the House considering for next year ?
A press release from the House Appropriations Committee is suggesting that Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) be funded at $360 million.
Hmmm … another cut in funding ?
Gosh, why didn’t Congressman Paulsen tell Christina that he would fight that cut ? (oh, yeah, remember candidate Paulsen said the national debt had to be addressed.)
This is a game that does not need to be played.
In fact, 230 Members have sponsored H.R.502 to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Guess who has not sponsored that bill … yes, Erik Paulsen.
For Catherine, who asked him to support funding, must have been pleased with his response that he would … neglecting to tell him how much House Republicans have cut.
Somehow, that old Paul Harvey line — “And now you know the rest of the story” — seems appropriate for Erik Paulsen Correspondence Corner … there’s always just a little bit more that he doesn’t tell ya.
Actually, the Land and Water Conservation Fund story has been told a few times on the Roundtable … with Congressman Paulsen’s featured :
Oct 7, 2014 Paulsen Goes Camping
Nov 12, 2015 GOP Dysfunction Over LWCF Shines Spotlight on Emmer, Kline and Paulsen